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November 03, 2007


Beautiful post, Beth! I love how you write about music notation, which makes me think of the hours of piano practice when young. I love how you find the connections to the voice of the instrument, of the singer, of the writer and of the reader. This kind of thoughtful writing is why I always read your posts with care. Do it when you feel the call, we'll be here.


Oh, I guess I better use code: Why Blog Post Frequency Does Not Matter Any More.

Your responsibility to your words has been beautifully discharged here, Beth. I'm copying this & placing it in my Blog Specialities folder. Thank you for this.

Marja-Leena, you are such a good friend and loyal reader - I write for you and other people like you. Thank you.

Thanks for the link, Dave. I think the author is absolutely right. I've noticed a big change in my own and other people's reading patterns since we started to use RSS feeds.

I was trying to get at something else, too, about literary writing on blogs that exists apart from the whole "popularity" cult of blogging. And because I've also set myself the task of writing about spirituality this month, I've been thinking about my own relationship to stats and popularity and authority" and all that ego-manipulating stuff. So -- more on this topic as we go along!

Dick - thank you. As a poet, you know what I'm talking about, so your comment means a lot to me.

Wonderful post...and in visual art, the "rest" is called "negative space"...I've never liked the term, so now I'll think of them as rest space instead...thank you for the thoughts...

Bobbi, thanks so much for commenting. I've never liked the notion of positive and negative space that much either, since both are so necessary to visual art and the English words imply that one is better than the other! I was also delighted to discover your own site and your beautiful artwork - I hope other readers here will go and look at what you make!

You're not in danger of losing your serious readers, Beth, though I suppose you know that. There are many blogs which lie dormant in my blogroll; their technorati rankings may slide, but were those bloggers to begin posting again I would gladly read their words...

Yes, yes, yes.

Love this, and so glad you'll be writing more about the subject, too. I've been thinking a lot about the useful and generative vs. destructive (or at least unhelpful) aspects of using blogging as a forum for 'real' work lately, and look forward to your thoughts. Perhaps also it will be contagious and there will be a rippling discussion in the wider net of blogs by people who care about language and craft.

This post, by the way, is a perfect example of the blog-version of opening up that folded piece of paper - have revisited it a few times to reread, and will again. The post itself serves as a rest-beat, reminding us to pause.

I don't read very many blogs; I'm consciously and specifically trying to limit my internet-time these days, and that (plus my inherent tendencies) has impelled me to be choosy about what I spend my time reading. I'd rather read something of quality, and be excited and curious when I see a new post, than read something somebody threw up because they felt they needed to fill a space.

I think that putting pressure on the practice of writing - deciding to post everyday for a set amount of time, or deciding to write a novel in November, or deciding to write a haiku in response to every post you like, et cetera - is a valuable tool. It can clarify your relationship to the medium, highlight the tensions you have and potentially alter them. Feeling the pressure to post something every day, just because you should? I don't think that's helpful.

I think that on a blog with the caliber of writing that you have here--where you care about, as Tmorph put it, "language and craft"--you'd be more likely to lose readers by succumbing to that pressure than you will by taking the time and space to write what you want to write, when you want to write it.

I'll keep reading, at least. :)

Theriomorph, thanks, I'm glad if the post did what I hoped it would. It would be great if more of us talked about this - in fact, I think that would be a terrific offshoot of NaBloPoMo: what are we, as serious writers, doing with this medium, and how can we make it serve the craft and the art to which we've dedicated our best efforts, rather than the other way around?

Kat, thanks a lot for writing thoughtfully and honestly about this. I won't be forcing myself to write every day, in spite of my initial flirtation with NaBloPoMo: it isn't right for me now. What's right is trying to write well, even more intentionally than I have been, for readers like you.

What a beautiful post for my first time reading you. I am always drawn toward greater definition of the meaning of space; your words take me deeper into the significance of space in a new and charming way with your illustration of musical notes. I am delighted to have been referred to you from Up!

Beth, this post is very meaningful for me right now. Your discussion of space resonates with me. Rest and activity. the universal cycle! The deeper the rest...Great post and comments!

Oh what a lovely post.
I have been gently chided by a few people for not posting more often. And sometimes I wonder if I lose readers by not posting every day, like some energetic bloggers I know. Yet I feel, just as you do, that the 'rests' in between are important for me. I want the act of writing to remain a joy, not a burden. And I aim for quality, not quantity. Your words are a wonderful validation of my feelings and the music metaphor is beautiful. Thank you.

(Only just found this, via Dave Pollard...) A wonderful post, Beth. I must confess: it feels like vindication. I, too, post far less frequently than some of my friends wish. On the other hand, I have to take care not to confuse vindication with an excuse.

I share your angst.
My own ezine is at once a vehicle for my need to write, at once a kind of danse macabre, where I often feel that I am alone, a 21st-century Miss Havisham in a dusty ballroom cluttered with the detritus of past thoughts, . when I write and they comment, I am delighted. Anything will do. When I am too busy to respond or to post, I fret that they have gone/lost interest. When my hit counter shows me that 500 of them have walked through my open home that day but left no calling card, I fret even more.
Quite obviously the issue here is the fragility of my own relevance.
However the photographer in me knows that Truth lies in the spaces Between the Moment, and the pauses between words and postings can yield that which we seek.
My heartfelt thanks for this post.

thank you!
I really appreciate this post ...I grapple with similar concepts, though my readership is not nearly as high ;)

I tell stories orally and there is one I wrote that I suppose articulates my wanderings around this theme, leaving space, too - again stuck around posting/sharing it online or not, and when

...and it is so important in story-telling and listening...leaving breathing space...and our physical spaces to...

- and leaving enough space in general between things as I live my life...


and some healthy space your way, and beauty in your 'sphere of the between'

ps thought you might like these posts http://www.natalieshell.com/index.php?s=space+between+notes

The greatest productive force is human selfishness.
-- Robert Heinlein


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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.